How to tackle herdsmen crisis, by Malami

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The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has suggested how to address the challenge of insecurity, particularly the persistent herder-farmer crisis.

Malami, who said the recent increase in cases of rape and other maladaptive behaviors may not be unconnected with drug abuse, suggested the adoption of practical and community-oriented approach, involving critical stakeholders in addressing the nation’s security challenge.

Malami, who spoke in Abuja at the Leaders and Life News House’s Peace, Unity and Security Lecture Series 2021, was represented by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.

On the herder-famer crisis, the AGF said: “One of the issues that dominated the media space in recent time is the issue of farmer-herders conflict. Farmer-herder crisis is real.

“It, therefore, requires real time and practically-oriented solutions.

“The better approach towards resolving the crisis over the short, medium and long terms is to directly involve the stakeholders in the coming up with solutions at the conception, implementation and monitoring faces.

“In this case, community-oriented approach is likely to yield greater dividend in diffusing and eventually eliminating the menace that has retarded economic development and created wide-spread insecurity.

“It is not out of place for me to say that simply addressing farmer-herder crisis from purely theoretical perspectives often devoid of reality and without synchronisation with the needs and aspirations of the involved stakeholders is not only counter-productive but inimical to the emergence and sustenance of a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

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“It is against this backdrop that I proffer the following recommendations for the consideration of the symposium: The setting up of regulated grazing reserves to replace the “Burtali” or “Hurumi” pastoral system.

“Intensive enlightenment to livestock breeders on the need for sedentary farming and transhumance agriculture as complimentary economic process to nomadic farming.

“Provision of water holes in remote grazing locations, subsidized veterinary care and mobile ambulatory services for surgeries and other medical interventions for livestock.

“Provision of infrastructure – social amenities, educational facilities and cattle markets at central locations to accelerate nomadic settlements.

“Educating communities on the need for peaceful co-existence; after all these communities have lived harmoniously side by side and even inter-married for generations.

“Community engagement fora for bridge-building in community relations. Nigeria is predominately agricultural in nature and by geography. To that extent, there is constant mobility of herders across the different belts of Nigeria.

“It is, perhaps, time to consider setting-up of a commission for pastoralism regulated by law. This might provide recipes for resolving protracted farmer-herder conflicts.

“The commission may even engage in or facilitate in-depth analytical studies with a view to providing lasting solutions for the benefit of people and the country.

“Revamping of the activities of the Nomadic Education Commission with a view to complimenting the efforts of government in resolving the farmer-herder clashes.”

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